By Alex Fees
St. Louis (KSDK) - Within fifteen minutes of the time this story aired on NewsChannel 5 at 5 p.m. Monday, no less than four viewers called KSDK to say they could help a north St. Louis woman who needs a wheelchair ramp.
For more than a month, Clara Elam has been trapped inside her home.
She's recovering from surgery, and can't walk. Though she gets around in a wheelchair, a ramp to her front porch is a bridge to nowhere.
It's about half-way completed.
"I can't leave," said Elam. "I've missed church. I've canceled doctor's appointments. My prescriptions have to be filled again. I cannot leave because of the ramp."
Elam has been through a couple contractors already.
"He came back about a week ago and asked for an additional $147," said Elam, about the most recent contractor. "But this man has been a shyster. He has not cooperated in any way. It took him a month. I had to call Jefferson City for him to even come over and get the permit."
Elam sits in a chair next to her front door, just in case.
"I sit by this door every day. So in case of fire or anything I can get out the door. I will crawl out the door. I cannot walk," she said.
Elam said the whole incident has taken a toll on her.
"Until the ramp is built, I just don't have faith in anybody," she said. "Until that ramp is built. Until I can roll down that ramp and go to church, or go to the doctor. It's just devastating."
Renee Williams is Elam's niece.
"She basically goes three places," said Williams. "From her chair we lift her to her wheelchair. From her wheelchair we lift her to her bed. That kind of isolation to a person who is not used to being isolated can cause stress, too."
No word yet on how or who is going to help Clara Elam, but we'll keep you posted.